Wine bottle sweaters are a fun craft for decor or gift giving. It’s the perfect opportunity to try a new stitch or practice a new technique. Today I have two samples; one is a cabled pattern with an open collar and the other is a stranded knit with the wine bottle equivalent of a turtleneck. They’re quick to make and are a great way to use up some of the yarn you have hanging around in your stash.
To make knitted wine bottle sweaters you will need:
- yarn (worsted weight works best)
- circular or double pointed needles in the appropriate size (I prefer DPNs for this…I’ll explain why below)
- cable needle
- stitch markers
- measuring tape or ruler
You’ll need to know how to:
- knit in the round
- create a cable
- switch yarn colors
- stranded knitting
- knit front and back increase (kfb)
- knit two together decrease (k2tog)
See this helpful post to learn how I use a checklist program on my tablet to keep me on track when I’m knitting.
Both patterns used worsted weight yarn and 4mm (US Size 6 needles). I prefer to use double pointed needles for two reasons. 1) The project is small (no more than 56 stitches) and 2) the pattern repeats for both projects are 14 stitches, so I set up one repeat per needle. If you prefer circulars, use stitch markers to mark the repeats. If you make a mistake the markers will help you find it.
The instructions for making the base of the wine bottle sweater is the same for both projects:
Cast on 8 stitches, divide over 4 needles and join to knit in the round. Place a marker to mark the beginning of the round.
- Round 1: Knit front and back (kfb) in each stitch around. You’ll have 16 stitches total
- Round 2: Knit around
- Round 3: [kfb, knit 1, kfb knit 1] x 4 (Repeat the stitches in the brackets for each needle) You’ll have 24 stitches total.
- Round 4: Knit around
- Round 5: [kfb, knit 2, kfb, knit 2] x 4 (32 stitches total)
- Round 6: Knit around
- Round 7: [kfb, knit 3, kfb, knit 3] x 4 (40 stitches total)
- Round 8: Knit around
- Round 9: [kfb, knit 4, kfb, knit 4] x 4 (48 stitches total)
- Round 10: Knit around
- Round 11: [kfb, knit 5, kfb, knit 5] x 4 (56 stitches total)
- Round 12: Knit around. Check that you have 56 stitches, 14 on each needle.
- Begin the pattern.
Cable Wine Bottle Sweater
This project was designed by Brittany of Just B Crafty. She gives the full instructions on her website and you’ll have no trouble following her pattern. Brittany recommends adding a couple of contrasting buttons, but I decided against it.
Stranded Wine Bottle Sweater
This project was designed by me using a stitch pattern found in AlterKnits Stitch Dictionary available from Interweave. I have written the pattern out for you.
When doing stranded knitting, it’s common to hold one color in each hand which can be very clumsy at first. A project like this is perfect for learning the technique. Most people prefer one method of knitting over any other and it can feel very awkward when trying a different way. Since you work in 14 stitch sections you’ll have the opportunity to re-tension the yarn at regular intervals. It won’t be long before you get the hang of it. The awkwardness might not go away, but you’ll learn how to deal with it and get good results.
You’ll need two contrasting yarns for this project. Designate one as the main color. I chose red.
With the Main Color (MC) Cast on 8, leaving a long tail, and build the base as described above.
Break the MC, leaving a tail that can be woven in later. Switch to the Contrasting Color (CC) and knit around all the stitches (stockinette stitch) until the stripe measures an inch. For me that was about 8 rounds, but it will depend on your yarn and the needles you choose.
Break the CC, leaving a tail as before, Switch to MC and make another inch wide stripe.
Change colors again, this time leaving the MC attached to the work. Knit 2 rounds in CC.
Begin knitting the motif. The instructions assume you are using 4 double pointed needles with 14 stitches on each. If you’re using circulars, use stitch markers to indicate the sections as well as the beginning of the round.
- Round 1: [2MC, 2CC, 2MC, 2CC, 2MC, 2CC, 2MC] x 4
- Round 2: [1CC, 2MC, 2CC, 4MC, 2CC, 2MC, 1MC] x 4
- Round 3: [2CC, 2MC, 2CC, 2MC, 2CC, 2MC, 2CC] x 4
- Round 4: [2CC, 2MC, 2CC, 2MC, 2CC, 2MC, 2CC] x 4
- Round 5: [1MC, 2CC, 2MC, 4CC, 2MC, 2CC, 1MC] x 4
- Round 6: [2MC, 2CC, 2MC, 2CC, 2MC, 2CC, 2MC] x 4
- Round 7: [2MC, 2CC, 2MC, 2CC, 2MC, 2CC, 2MC] x 4
- Round 8: [1MC, 2CC, 2MC, 4CC, 2MC, 2CC, 1MC] x 4
- Round 9: [2CC, 2MC, 2CC, 2MC, 2CC, 2MC, 2CC] x 4
- Round 10: [2CC, 2MC, 2CC, 2MC, 2CC, 2MC, 2CC] x 4
- Round 11: [1CC, 2MC, 2CC, 4MC, 2CC, 2MC, 1CC] x 4
- Round 12: [2MC, 2CC, 2MC, 2CC, 2MC, 2CC, 2MC] x 4
Repeat the motif one more time.
Two rounds CC.
Break CC and switch to MC. Create an inch wide band.
Break MC and switch to CC. Create an inch wide band.
Break CC and switch to MC. For the first two rounds, reduce the number of stitches like this:
[Knit 2 Together, Knit 10, Knit 2 Together] x 4
After two rounds you should have 40 stitches on the needles. Begin a K4P4 rib until the wine bottle sweater is about the length of the bottle you want to use. (Please note, this is different than my sample where I started the K4P4 rib while working the CC. I think this will look better).
Cast off using a stretchy cast off like this one. Turn the wine bottle sweater inside out and weave in the ends. Use the tail to close the hole created by the cast on.
My plan is to make a couple more of these sweaters to “wrap” our gift bottles. This will fit a standard 750ml bottle of wine but it can be adapted to suit other sized bottles.
Have fun with it and challenge yourself with a new type of cable or colorwork pattern.
If you have trouble with the pattern or find an error, please drop me a line in the comments. Happy knitting!